So much for their fight against 'career politicians.'
Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have introduced a constitutional amendment to limit senators to two six-year terms. But both are currently raising money, hoping to win third terms.
On Monday, Cruz announced that he, along with Rubio, first-term Sens. Mike Braun (R-IN), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Todd Young (R-IN), and retiring second-term Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), were filing the proposal, which would also limit individuals to three two-year terms in the House of Representatives.
"Every year, Congress spends billions of dollars on giveaways for the well-connected: Washington insiders get taxpayer money and members of Congress get re-elected, all while the system fails the American people," Cruz wrote. "The rise of political careerism in today's Congress is a sharp departure from what the Founders intended for our federal governing bodies. I have long called for this solution for the brokenness of Washington, D.C., and I will continue fighting to hold career politicians accountable."
"No elected official is so good that they're irreplaceable," he argued in 2010, "and having term limits will ensure that our legislative branch is continuously infused with new people and ideas."
Spokespeople for Cruz and Rubio did not respond to inquiries for this story.
Despite their stated belief that 12 years in the Senate is plenty, both have already indicated that they personally hope to exceed that cap.
Rubio announced in December that he planned to seek reelection in 2022.
"I still have work to do in the U.S. Senate. We've had a very successful four years out of the six years in this term. I have two years left in this term, and we have a lot of work to do. We're full steam ahead," he told a Florida news outlet.
"I'm also doing my job, which I think is one of the most important things you can do if you want to be reelected. I have every intention of being on that ballot in November of 2022, and I feel very good about the account we'll be able to bring to the people of Florida," he added.
Cruz, who has faced calls to resign or be expelled from the Senate for his role in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and helping to foment the deadly Capitol insurrection earlier this month, has also raised a significant amount of money toward running for a third term in 2024.
After narrowly surviving a 2018 challenge by then-Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), Cruz raised nearly $10 million between January 2019 and the end of September 2020. More than $200,000 of that came from the same "well-connected" special interests he decried, through their political action committees.
Even if two-thirds of House and Senate lawmakers voted for the proposed term limits and three-quarters of the states ratified them immediately, a loophole in their language would allow Cruz and Rubio to circumvent their own limits.
Their proposal explicitly states, "No term beginning before the date of the ratification of this article shall be taken into account in determining eligibility for election or appointment under this article," meaning that they and their colleagues could serve at least 12 more years before facing any limits.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.